Mother and baby home investigation: “appalling” level of infant mortality

A five-year investigation into mother and baby homes has found an "appalling" level of infant mortality among children born there.

Out of the 18 homes examined by the Commission of Investigation, including one in Stranorlar and The Castle, Newtowncunningham, 9 thousand children died.

56 thousand unmarried mothers - ranging in age from 12 years old to women in their 40s - along with 57 thousand children lived in the institutions.

The Commission says women who gave birth outside marriage were subjected to "particularly harsh treatment" in the period looked at from 1922 to 1998.

It found that was "supported by, contributed to, and condoned by" the institutions of the State and the Churches.

Taoiseach Michael Martin says the report makes often harrowing reading: